Animals are something that tends to divide people: some love them, some don’t and even amongst those that like to keep pets, dog people don’t always get on with cat people! Nevertheless, pets can pose slightly different problems to landlords and, whatever your personal views on pets, you need to have a bit of a clinical attitude when it comes to your tenants. Here are a few common and serious problems you need to address if you are going to let to tenants with pets:
Injuries from dog attacks are becoming more common in the UK and there have been some very severe, and very public, attacks from dogs. Particular breeds are actually banned in the UK and training dogs specifically to be aggressive is considered anti-social behaviour. If you believe your tenants’ dogs are causing problems then you may need to step in and discuss the problem with them.
Though well trained dogs and cats are usually great housemates, not all pets are particularly well trained. This can result in damaged furniture, scratched plaster and ruined carpets. Tenants who want to keep pets have a responsibility to keep them well behaved and if they don’t, they should cover the damages. Your security deposit or your landlord insurance policy should do the trick here, but constant damages from pets may be cause for eviction.
Animal Cleaning and Resale Value
Pets do unfortunately leave their scent lingering in a property and this can be very off-putting to new tenants. Someone who is allergic to cats or dogs will be able to pick up the scent almost immediately after walking through the door. This isn’t a problem in itself, you just need to make sure the property is well cleaned before offering it out for let or sale again. You need your buyers to be impressed, and pet odours won’t do that for you.
It’s quite reasonable to ask your tenants to cover the additional costs of pet ownership but you need to be very clear from the off that this is the situation. Most tenants will respect this policy and you shouldn’t have any problems in the future.